Today we are happy to welcome Christa Tomlinson to our blog. We had a wonderful ‘Not At GRL’ celebration on Saturday and today we will continue with some great Guestposts and even more opportunities to win! In addition to a wonderful Guestpost where you will learn about research for believable stories and her SWAT notes, you can comment on the post to win an eBook copy of the author’s upcoming book Bad Boys Need Love Too 🙂 Enjoy!!!
Research for Writing Believable Stories by Christa Tomlinson
Research. For some, it’s a dirty word that leads to nothing but boring hours of trying to track things down. For others, it’s the chance to learn about something new. Thankfully, as an author, I fall into the latter camp. I enjoy doing research. But more importantly I know that it’s necessary. Someone long ago said, Write what you know. But I don’t think they meant to only write about the things that are in your small little bubble of life. They meant for you to go out and learn and then write about what you discovered.
For example, my m/m erotic romance, The Sergeant, features a couple in a BDSM relationship. I tried to write about it in as genuine and detailed a manner as possible. But how was I able to do this without having a penis or being in a D/s relationship? I studied. My research started on line of course. I visited chat rooms, read articles, and watched videos. But then, I got out there. I attended a few Munches for the local BDSM community. And I listened as they talked about feelings, and techniques, supplies and everything else. It was fascinating. And there were lots of friendly people there who were willing to talk to me, sharing their experiences and explaining how and why things worked. It was amazing. I plan to go back for more knowledge as I start my next BDSM book. I also got to go to a play party. It was very casual and laid back, with different activities going on in different areas of the house.
Visiting, watching, and reading on the subject helped me to write with some authenticity. Is it one hundred percent accurate to the BDSM world? Of course not. It is fiction after all. But research is important. So no matter what you’re writing about, try and get a little bit of insider knowledge. Most people love talking about their professions. Ask them politely, maybe even offer to buy them a latte and I’m sure they’d be willing to share something with you.
To get information on how a SWAT team functions, I had a phone interview with a SWAT officer from Georgia. He was amazing, giving me about four notebook pages worth of information. There were things he mentioned that gave me ideas and others that made me realize something I’d planned wasn’t going to work.
So how can you get started with research? Go old school. Grab your notebook, pen and back pack and head to the library. They’re a great place to start and more than likely will have books on your subject. And don’t forget to ask the librarians for help. I love asking a librarian to show me something and then watching the intense look on their faces and power in their stride as they take me over and point out all the books I’ll need.
Google is also your friend. Type your subject (rock climbing, body glitter, sexy fireman) into their search engine and you’ll get a ton of information. Choose wisely, narrow it down and pull from a variety of sources. And of course as I mentioned above, get it straight from the horse’s mouth. Not an actual horse, unless you’re writing something equestrian, but from someone involved in your topic.
You won’t use everything you cull and that’s okay. You’ll just have that knowledge on note cards and in your head, guiding you along as you write. Research doesn’t have to be intensive, but it does need to be done. Without it, your story will fall flat, lacking the details that helped to build a world. Or worse, you’ll resort to making things up, in which case readers will call you out on your BS. No one wants that. Research gives your story that extra bit of realism that your readers will appreciate and enjoy. So fire up that Google machine and go bother some librarians.
Thanks for reading!
Available on Amazon and B&N.com
Bad Boys Need Love Too (October 21st): Amazon
Christa Tomlinson is an exciting up and coming author in erotic romance. Her first self-published novel, The Sergeant, was an Amazon Best Seller for Gay and Lesbian Erotica for seven weeks straight.
Although Christa graduated from The University of Missouri-St. Louis with a degree in History, she prefers to write contemporary romance. She loves to create stories that are emotional and lovely with sex that is integral to the characters’ romantic arc. Her books include straight couples, curvy couples, gay, and multicultural couples. Love is love and everyone should have their story told.
Christa lives in Houston, Texas with her two dogs, and is a semi-retired member of Houston Roller Derby. She enjoys hearing from readers. You can follow her on Twitter at @christa_writes and on Facebook at Christa Tomlinson. For more on Christa’s work, including deleted scenes, excerpts, and free reads, visit www.ChristaTomlinson.Blogspot.com.
Facebook: Christa Tomlinson
Facebook Author Page: Christa Tomlinson, Author
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Snail Mail: PO Box 40841 – Houston, TX – 77040
Comment on this post to win an e-copy of ‘Bad Boys Need Love Too’ by Christa Tomlinson.
You need to be 18 or older to participate in this giveaway. Void where prohibited. Etc.
Contest will end on October 31st @ 11:59 pm CDT. Good Luck
“You won’t let anybody else have you, Joseph. I won’t let anybody else have you. I want you all to myself.” – Gage Mason
We’ve all had our experience with him. The Bad Boy. The one we’ve been warned about. The one with rips in his jeans and a lazy, devil may care smile on his mouth. The one who makes you do bad things that feel so good.
For me it was Gage Mason. We met when he worked on my Ducati. I knew immediately he was trouble, but something about that Bad Boy drew me in. Maybe it’s his dark eyes that study me like he wants to know everything about me. Maybe it’s the way he makes me feel; the rough touch of his hands, his possessive grip on my hair when we kiss, the way he feels deep inside me. Or maybe it’s the way he needs me, even though he won’t admit it.
For once in my life I’m taking a risk. Despite everything that tells me I shouldn’t, I’m taking a chance to be with Gage. I don’t know if it will end well, but I do know I can’t resist that Bad Boy. – Joseph Naderi